Media Sphere In Bangladesh: Newspapers

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The total number of newspapers currently existing in Bangladesh is 3025. This total number includes 1078 daily newspapers, 1947 weekly newspaper, and fortnightlies and monthlies. The newspaper media industry had its most prominent time when the circulation and the rate of newspaper readers were increasing until 2013. As the literacy rate improved, the number of newspaper readers increased as well. People would wake up and they would read the newspaper while having a cup of coffee; they would read the newspaper while going to the workplace while riding on a bus or a car. It became an everyday thing in people’s lives. The decrease in newspaper distribution started in 2014 where the distribution drastically dropped by 14% from the previous year. In our country, the top 10 newspapers are the market leaders and they own 95% of the whole market share. According to JOURNALISMSCHOOOL, the government provided wrong data regarding the total number of circulation of newspapers. The circulation kept falling after 2013. For example, Prothom Alo circulated 5.02 lacs newspaper in 2013 whereas the number of newspaper circulation in 2014 and 2015 were 4.5 lacs and 4.26 lacs. The Daily Ittefaq, the oldest newspaper in Bangladesh, used to circulate 110,000 newspapers in 2009. The number dropped to 90,000 in 2011 and 8,000 in 2015. The decrease in circulation of newspapers happened on a global scale. According to Matiur Rahman, the then chief of the Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh or NOAB, Bangladeshi newspapers are losing its reader at a 5% to 10% in the past few years which lead to the fall in revenue stream in the print news media industry.

However, there has been a surprising increase in the circulation of newspapers recently. According to the latest data released by the Department of Films and Publications or DFP, the number has not decreased in terms of copies sold by the newspapers. For example, according to data for January 1 this year, the circulation of the newspaper by Prothom Alo was 501,800 which shows the number of circulation increased in the last five years. Bangladesh Pratidin is selling 553,300 copies on each of the two days before and after as many years. This data list was made by the official at the information ministry. However, they have expressed doubts regarding the number themselves. Where the newspaper industry has been dying in the global aspect, the newspaper industry of Bangladesh seems to still hold the market.

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The number has only increased for the top newspapers that hold most of the market share. A number of newspapers and magazines have closed or have been compelled to go online. One of the main reasons for the print industry to lose its reader is the emergence of online media and journalism in Bangladesh. The digital journalism is rising steadily in Bangladesh whereas there has been a rapid increase of e-journalism in the western part of the world because of the fast advancement of technology and higher literacy rate. Online media and journalism is very popular among the youth as it is more interactive; it updates news regarding all kinds of events as it occurs; it includes multimedia elements such as image, video etc. Though e-journalism has an immense impact on the print news media industry in western countries like the USA, Canada, and the UK, the print news and media industry of Bangladesh is not much affected by it. Journalism is developing quickly in a ‘mixed media consisting of traditional newspapers and electronic media coupled with a ‘new media’ of online journalists.  People still rely on the print newspaper for authentic news as online news and media don’t follow ethical norms or standards. People in Bangladesh are often found in a dilemma when it comes to accepting the news that has been published online. There are only a few numbers of online-based websites whose contents are reliable as the internet is flooded with fake news. People still depend on print newspapers to get the most authentic news.

Dhaka Diary will provide news both in print and online. There are people who like to get the news in paper and Dhaka Diary will be providing them with the latest and in-depth news to its reader in print. Dhaka Diary will also have a website that will be providing news at it happens and will keep it interactive as well while maintaining the ethical standard.


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